The Vine and the Calf

10 Israel is a lush[a] vine;(A)
it yields fruit for itself.
The more his fruit increased,
the more he increased the altars.(B)
The better his land produced,
the better they made the sacred pillars.(C)
Their hearts are devious;[b](D)
now they must bear their guilt.(E)
The Lord will break down their altars(F)
and demolish their sacred pillars.
In fact, they are now saying,
“We have no king!
For we do not fear the Lord.(G)
What can a king do for us?”
They speak mere words,
taking false oaths while making covenants.(H)
So lawsuits break out
like poisonous weeds in the furrows of a field.(I)

The residents of Samaria(J) will have anxiety
over the calf(K) of Beth-aven.(L)
Indeed, its idolatrous priests rejoiced over it;
the people will mourn over it,
over its glory.(M)
It will certainly go into exile.
The calf itself will be taken to Assyria(N)
as an offering to the great king.[c](O)
Ephraim will experience shame;(P)
Israel will be ashamed of its counsel.(Q)
Samaria’s king will disappear[d](R)
like foam[e] on the surface of the water.
The high places(S) of Aven, the sin of Israel,(T)
will be destroyed;
thorns and thistles will grow over their altars.(U)
They will say to the mountains,(V) “Cover us!”
and to the hills, “Fall on us!” (W)

Israel’s Defeat because of Sin

Israel, you have sinned
since the days of Gibeah;(X)
they have taken their stand there.
Will not war against the unjust
overtake them in Gibeah?
10 I will discipline(Y) them at my discretion;(Z)
nations will be gathered against them
to put them in bondage[f]
for their double iniquity.(AA)

11 Ephraim is a well-trained calf(AB)
that loves to thresh,
but I will place a yoke on[g] her fine neck.(AC)
I will harness Ephraim;(AD)
Judah will plow;
Jacob will do the final plowing.
12 Sow righteousness for yourselves(AE)
and reap faithful love;
break up your unplowed ground.(AF)
It is time to seek the Lord(AG)
until he comes(AH) and sends righteousness
on you like the rain.(AI)

13 You have plowed wickedness and reaped injustice;(AJ)
you have eaten the fruit of lies.(AK)
Because you have trusted in your own way[h]
and in your large number of soldiers,(AL)
14 the roar of battle will rise against your people,
and all your fortifications will be demolished(AM)
in a day of war,
like Shalman’s destruction of Beth-arbel.
Mothers will be dashed to pieces
along with their children.(AN)
15 So it will be done to you, Bethel,(AO)
because of your extreme evil.
At dawn the king of Israel will be totally destroyed.


  1. 10:1 Or ravaged
  2. 10:2 Or divided
  3. 10:6 Or to King Yareb
  4. 10:7 Or will be cut off
  5. 10:7 Or a stick
  6. 10:10 LXX, Syr, Vg read against them when they are disciplined
  7. 10:11 Lit will pass over
  8. 10:13 LXX reads your chariots

10 Israel was a spreading vine;(A)
    he brought forth fruit for himself.
As his fruit increased,
    he built more altars;(B)
as his land prospered,(C)
    he adorned his sacred stones.(D)
Their heart is deceitful,(E)
    and now they must bear their guilt.(F)
The Lord will demolish their altars(G)
    and destroy their sacred stones.(H)

Then they will say, “We have no king
    because we did not revere the Lord.
But even if we had a king,
    what could he do for us?”
They make many promises,
    take false oaths(I)
    and make agreements;(J)
therefore lawsuits spring up
    like poisonous weeds(K) in a plowed field.
The people who live in Samaria fear
    for the calf-idol(L) of Beth Aven.[a](M)
Its people will mourn over it,
    and so will its idolatrous priests,(N)
those who had rejoiced over its splendor,
    because it is taken from them into exile.(O)
It will be carried to Assyria(P)
    as tribute(Q) for the great king.(R)
Ephraim will be disgraced;(S)
    Israel will be ashamed(T) of its foreign alliances.
Samaria’s king will be destroyed,(U)
    swept away like a twig on the surface of the waters.
The high places(V) of wickedness[b](W) will be destroyed—
    it is the sin of Israel.
Thorns(X) and thistles will grow up
    and cover their altars.(Y)
Then they will say to the mountains, “Cover us!”(Z)
    and to the hills, “Fall on us!”(AA)

“Since the days of Gibeah,(AB) you have sinned,(AC) Israel,
    and there you have remained.[c]
Will not war again overtake
    the evildoers in Gibeah?
10 When I please, I will punish(AD) them;
    nations will be gathered against them
    to put them in bonds for their double sin.
11 Ephraim is a trained heifer
    that loves to thresh;
so I will put a yoke(AE)
    on her fair neck.
I will drive Ephraim,
    Judah must plow,
    and Jacob must break up the ground.
12 Sow(AF) righteousness(AG) for yourselves,
    reap the fruit of unfailing love,
and break up your unplowed ground;(AH)
    for it is time to seek(AI) the Lord,
until he comes
    and showers his righteousness(AJ) on you.
13 But you have planted wickedness,
    you have reaped evil,(AK)
    you have eaten the fruit of deception.(AL)
Because you have depended on your own strength
    and on your many warriors,(AM)
14 the roar of battle will rise against your people,
    so that all your fortresses will be devastated(AN)
as Shalman(AO) devastated Beth Arbel on the day of battle,
    when mothers were dashed to the ground with their children.(AP)
15 So will it happen to you, Bethel,
    because your wickedness is great.
When that day dawns,
    the king of Israel will be completely destroyed.(AQ)


  1. Hosea 10:5 Beth Aven means house of wickedness (a derogatory name for Bethel, which means house of God).
  2. Hosea 10:8 Hebrew aven, a reference to Beth Aven (a derogatory name for Bethel); see verse 5.
  3. Hosea 10:9 Or there a stand was taken

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